If ever there were a reason for South Florida music lovers to take a cross-state road trip, this is it: The Big Guava Festival takes over Tampa the weekend of May 2 for three days of stellar rock, hip-hop and dance-pop acts across four stages, at the Florida State Fairgrounds and MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre.
So baby, if you were born to run, plan to go west this spring, because Bruce Springsteen has just crashed the party. Yes, it has just been announced that The Boss, along with his beloved E Street Band, will unofficially kick off Big Guava with a concert the previous night – Thurs., May 1 – at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, in support of his new album, “High Hopes.” So plan for four days of sonic shenanigans in the Tampa Bay area.
Springsteen joins previously announced headliner OutKast, the Atlanta hip-hop duo featuring Andre 3000 and Big Boi, which makes its only Florida stop as part of its reunion tour and will throw down tripped-out, funky classics including “B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad),” “Hey Ya!” “The Way You Move” and, of course, “Ms. Jackson.” I am for real.
Also headlining are the Grammy-winning New York band Vampire Weekend, whose self-titled debut album seduced fans and critics alike in 2008 with its quirky mix of Afrobeat and indie-rock; and L.A.’s Foster the People, which scored big hipster points with its ubiquitous indie-dance hit “Pumped Up Kicks” in 2010.
The rest of the bill is spectacular as well, including ‘80s angst-rock darlings the Violent Femmes, whose uniquely strange and compelling debut album gave us the sneering classic “Blister in the Sun,” plus cool hits “Gone Daddy Gone,” “Kiss Off” and “Add It Up”; San Diego stoner-rock kings Slightly Stoopid, which mesmerizes crowds with its mix of rock, reggae, blues, hip-hop, metal and funk; the sarcastic alt-funk band Cake, known for its hits “The Distance” and “Never There,” plus its priceless cover of Gloria Gaynor’s disco anthem “I Will Survive”; Canadian indie-folk twin sisters Tegan and Sara; and mad sampler Girl Talk, whose lively mash-ups entrance the crowd; plus Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience, ZZ Ward, and American Authors, which is currently blowing up on Top 40 radio with the hit “Best Day of My Life.”
Here’s a day-by-day breakdown of the top acts:
Fri., May 2: OutKast, Cake, Sleigh Bells, Twenty One Pilots, Jake Miller.
Sat., May 3: Vampire Weekend, Slightly Stoopid, Tegan and Sara, Haim, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience, American Authors.
Sun., May 4: Foster the People, Violent Femmes, Girl Talk, Grouplove, ZZ Ward.
In addition to the great musical lineup, Big Guava will keep fans constantly engaged with a fleet of gourmet food trucks, a Craft Beer Garden, and the Monster Midway, which offers free unlimited thrill rides.
Tickets for Springsteen’s show ($41-$124) go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday through LiveNation.com. Single-day tickets to Big Guava ($65-$175) go on sale at 11 a.m. Saturday; three-day passes ($165-$499) are on sale now.